Landscape Enhancements: A Great ROI for Your Home
We talked to numerous regional landscapers about outdoor remodelling jobs, the value of handling such jobs, return on investment (ROI) on the outdoor jobs if they choose to sell their house and even how much appeal each task is most likely to have for buyers.
The majority of our landscapers ranked standard yard care as the primary task that attract purchasers and admitted the cost recovery of yard care and great curb appeal has a return on investment of well over 200 percent of the expense approximated by landscaping contractors for their services. An overall landscape upgrade, brand-new patio, brand-new deck, and hardscape update all rendered a full cost recovery.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals emailed a survey to their more than 2,113 member database and the landscaping remodelling/improvement rank of finest interest property owners for cost recovery and selling characteristics were ranked as follows (greatest to lowest):.
- Having a standard Lawn Care Program: cutting, trees, mulching, planting, tree care, flowers;
2. Landscape Upgrade in little areas of the lot: new rock, new plants;
3. General Landscape Upgrade: whole re-do, trees, plants, retaining walls;
4. Covered Patio: shade covering, ornamental concrete;
5. New Wood Deck: composite material, enlarged if possible;
6. Hardscape: garden pavers and pool pavers;
7. Outside Fire pit;
8. Outside Fireplace;
10. A new swimming pool
Let’s move from landscaping expense return on investments/improvements to a subject that is often more important than the final product, hiring the right landscaper. Landscapers can turn your yard into a magical wonderland; however there are some that can leave you with a headache:
A homeowner wanted the outside of his home painted. He did not get any quotes, simply used the “certified” fellow that was suggested by a pal of his neighbour. The expense of the exterior painting was $4,500. After 1.5 years, the paint is now washing off and fading. The “licensed” specialist is an unlicensed entity and per Arizona State Statutes can legally charge $999.99 for services rendered, based on the total expense of the project. YCCA helped the house owner in filing a problem with the ROC for unlicensed work and eventually should be able to recuperate some of his money back.
Moral to this story; obtain quotes and ensure the contactor has a license before you hire them.
The next concern included installing retaining walls in the yard. The homeowner called a couple regional licensed landscapers, and then saw an advertisement in a regional publication for landscaping services. Yes, you guessed it; the property owner opted for the most affordable quote, which was the unlicensed entity. The unlicensed entity requested a $5,000 deposit on a $9,000 task and to top it all off, the owner did not form a contract, nothing in writing to specify the limits of the task and paid money. The other 2 quotes for the task varied from $15,450 to $16,850. This was a lowball bid which must have sent up a red flag. As well as more of a red flag, the telephone number for the advertiser was a cellular phone– no established company.
The moral to this story; get all the quotes, inspect the license and with an extraordinary lower quote like this, ask questions.
So how does one employ a specialist?
Beware when asking your pals because they might have actually worked with unlicensed entities without understanding. Not all unlicensed entities are “bad.” Not all licensed professionals are “excellent” either do your research and ensure there is some form of owner builder constructions insurance for the works.
As soon as you have a list of professionals, validate their license status and check online for any bad reviews on them or their work.
It’s important to verify with the permitting jurisdiction that you live in if a permit is needed for the work being carried out. The majority of structure projects, even small ones, typically require building permits and assessments and builders indemnity insurance from the contractor. If your job is not allowed or does not comply with building regulations, you will most likely be asked to either eliminate the structure or bring it up to code. You will probably need to fix the issue if when you attempt to sell your home.
Validate insurance. You can’t manage for somebody doing work with your home without owner builder insurance. If they ruin your property and it’s not guaranteed, the expense falls on you. Make sure any subcontractors that are used are certified also. Most homeowner insurance policies state that any work done to the home needs done by licensed professionals.
Constantly get quotes and comprehensive estimates in a written contract. Verbal agreements are worthless in court when things go wrong.
A conscientious professional will notice what the homeowner wants from a task and what they plan to spend. It’s essential to compare apples to apples when you’re examining quotes so you can ask questions like “why are you using 50 percent less products than the other 3 contractors I’ve gotten quotes from?”.
All quotes must be well balanced and if there is a “lowball bid,” there is a concern.
Prepare an agreement that details every step of the task: payment schedule; a start date and forecasted conclusion date; specific materials and items to be used; and a requirement that the professional acquire lien releases (which secure you if he does not pay his costs) from all subcontractors and suppliers. If any changes are made to your job, request for the modifications in a written contract as well.
If a contractor firmly insists that you pay a big deposit or the total expense before the work even begins, that is a red flag. Never pay in cash, make checks payable to the licensed contractor (not a specific person), and never enable payments to get ahead of the work.
We ask that you familiarize yourself with these concerns to better your possibilities of hiring the ideal contractor. If you pick your specialist carefully in the beginning, you are less likely to have problems later. While screening specialists may appear more work than the job itself, the effort can save you enormously in cash, annoyance and time.